Last weekend, one of my friends returned to Portland after traveling South America for over a year. You would think that we would have chatted about all the things she saw or caught up on our daily lives – but the conversation was heavy, big picture stuff. For me, everyday is an existential crisis so I’m always up for a “What the hell am I doing with my life?” or a “Let’s talk about death,” conversation. We did a bit of both.
After talking about funerals, I realized that the “plan my own funeral” goal from last year was short-sighted because I’ve already mentally made some changes. But how would anyone know unless I put it in writing?! So here goes, the bigger, longer, and uncut version of my last wishes.
THE OBITUARY – I learned from my stepfather who worked at the newspaper, a good obit photo needs to really focus in on your FACE. Ones where you’re grouped with a bunch of people will just make you look pixelated. At the moment, I think this should be my obit photo.
JUST KIDDING! But seriously, please pick something flattering. Also, you know those funny obits that go viral? Well, I don’t need anything that exciting, but maybe troll my instagram since those are clearly approved straight from the source. It might not even need my face – just a representation of me:
Feel free to include all of my eccentric interests…and don’t forget to say that I’m survived by my cats.
DONATIONS – Being an animal lover, I would like any donations to be given either to The Oregon Humane Society, or the Oregon Zoo. (I have always dreamed of having a brick or a bench or something at the zoo with my name on it).
FUNERAL HOME – Beings that I don’t subscribe to any religions, you can pretty much pick anything that’s easy.
Funeral Home Services
MY REMAINS – A big part of me wants to go six feet under in a head-to-toe leopard outfit, but I have read way too many horror stories of people being exhumed and scientific evidence shows they woke up. Cremation sounds like a quick and dirty process (no pun intended). I don’t really care what you put my ashes in, but if it had a cat on it, that would be pretty cool. But don’t leave my ashes hanging out on your mantel so make sure you dump me right on a Hawaiian beach within a timely fashion 😉
SERVICE – We already know the music (updated below), but where’s the party going to happen? Well, it depends on the time of year. If it’s summer, do something indoors and then go have a beach bonfire in my honor (hey! if you could spread my ashes at the same time! that would kill two birds with one stone!); if it’s the winter, do something holiday themed – like Timberline Lodge. Make sure you serve gingerbread cookies and peppermint schnapps. No ironic ugly Christmas sweaters, please.
VIEWING – Before I’m cremated, I don’t really want anyone to look at me – unless they really want to. But no public viewing. Yuck.
FLORAL ARRANGEMENT – I think it would be a little funeral-zilla to be picky about flowers. Go with whatever is easiest. If you’re like, “It would be a lot easier if she just picked!” then go with yellow and pink roses. No carnations.
PHOTOGRAPH – Again, something flattering, please.
RELIGIOUS ITEMS – Let’s be very clear here. I am not religious. No religious items or prayers or hymns at my service. If you really think I’m going to hell, then maybe we shouldn’t know each other in our living lives.
OFFICIATOR – Ummm, your choice?
Family member or friend to perform the eulogy – One time my friend, Frances, told me a story about a eulogy that had to do with a guy that said, “I’d rather have a hot dog and a big girl than a big dog and a hot girl,” or something like that. It was really funny. Frances, would it be too much to ask for you to tell a hilarious story?
Family member or friend to read scripture or literature – Up for grabs! Who wants it?!
Burial or cremation plot – I think you have to get a permit to spread someone’s ashes, right? Well, I’m not sure where I want my ashes spread. Maybe somewhere in Hawaii, or on the University of Kansas (lol).
The Cats – God forbid I expire before they do. Thor will obviously take care of them, but god forbid we perish together. I must insist that my friend, Courtney, takes them because she is the most anal pet owner I’ve ever known, and that’s the kind of care they will need.
My Stuff – Do what you want. Obviously I won’t be needing it.
My Legacy – I’m woking on this one…prepare for a post within 6 months.
ONE FINAL REQUEST – I like the idea of someone visiting me. I won’t be having children, and I know eventually over time, I will be forgotten. So instead, I want to arrange paying a random stranger $100 a year to visit the spot of my ashes on any day they choose, until they themselves cannot perform this duty or the money set aside for this dries up.
Last Wishes Playlist – UPDATED
One of These Days – Neil Young
Give My Love to Rose – Johnny Cash
Space Oddity – David Bowie
Dreams – Fleetwood Mac
Love is the Answer – Aloe Blacc
Wicked Game – Chris Isaak
Just Like Jesse James – Cher
I Ain’t in Checotah Anymore – Carrie Underwood
My Rifle, My Pony, and Me – Buddy Case
Take Me Home, Country Roads – John Denver
That’s Alright Mama – Elvis Presley
Enjoy the Silence – Depeche Mode
Live to Tell – Madonna
Fade Into You – Mazzy Star
Bury Me – Smashing Pumpkins
Nodding Off – Wavves
Sleep – Nada Surf
Burn You Down – Beach Fossils
Holiday – Weezer
Repeater – Fugazi
Last Caress – Misfits
Live Fast Die Young – Circle Jerks
Laser Life – The Blood Brothers
Born to Die – Lana Del Rey
Edge of Glory – Lady Gaga
Party in the USA – Miley Cyrus
Die Young – Ke$ha
Above the Clouds – Wu-Tang Clan
California Love – Tupac
Know Yourself – Drake
You Can’t Stop Me Now – RZA
Take Back the Night – Justin Timberlake
Sabotage – Beastie Boys
Telephone – Lady Gaga
Best Song Ever – One Direction
Suburban Home – Descendants
Holiday in Cambodia – Dead Kennedys
City of Angels – Distillers
Helena – My Chemical Romance
Tongue Tied – Grouplove
Cannonball – The Breeders
Hybrid Moments – Misfits
Linoleum – NOFX
R.I.P. – Bikini Kill
Date With the Night – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Just Dance – Lady Gaga
Till the World Ends – Britney Spears
Press Gang – Murder City Devils
American Jesus – Bad Religion
Institutionalized – Suicidal Tendencies
What Do I Get? – Buzzcocks
We Can’t Stop – Miley Cyrus
Dancing on My Own – Robyn
Let Me Know – Youth Brigade